Conference, reflections and connections

This weekend we spent our time (camping) at the FSA annual conference, which was great! We heard from three really interesting speakers:

  • Jo McAndrews and The Children’s Forest- about how we support participants in these changing times and allow them a positive vision of the future

  • Tony Juniper-environmental campaigner and chair of Natural England

  • Alison Kriel- An ex-headteacher who spoke of creating a new curriculum

We went to three workshops

  • Chris Holland- Story telling

  • The children’s Forest Tree song forest

  • Lily Horsman- Needs at Forest School

We spent time round fires, walking in woods, hiding from the rain, giggling whilst trying to compete in a nature based quiz and danced the night away at a ceilidh. We have come away refreshed, inspired, connected, damp, tired, but full of positive thoughts and new connections with other Forest School professionals both locally and nationally.

Links and further reading:

Jo McAndrews

Alison Kriel

Tony Juniper

Lily Horsman

Chris Holland

The Children’s Song Forest

On returning we met to feedback our thoughts and discuss the positives of our year and to reflect on our future planning for Sawpit Woods CIC. We realised as we wrote our annual report and reflection that we have been fairly busy this year.

So here is our work in numbers:

This calendar year we have run 14 session days of Holiday Clubs

This has reached 61 children from 36 different families

We have run 42 after school sessions, reaching 42 children from 28 different families

We have run 37 Parent and Child sessions, reaching 24 children from 18 different


We have planted approximately 200 trees and 60 hedging plants

80 people have been involved in this tree planting project

We have worked with 30 volunteers

We have welcomed 90 school children to the woods throughout the year through their

Forest School sessions

We have reached over 295 people in the local community throughout the course of the

year in the woods!

And after all of this, we had another gentle, inspiring, enriching, playful and engaging afternoon in the woods with some children, which are both at the centre of why we do what we do. We learned about hawthorn, planted some trees from seed, swung around, checked out the stream, wove with some sticks and celebrated a birthday! Happy Birthday Natalie!